4.7.10  AIMS/ERCS Staff

Manual Transmittal

June 25, 2012

Purpose

(1) This transmits a revised IRM 4.7.10, Examination Returns Control System (ERCS), AIMS/ERCS Staff.

Material Changes

(1) The title of this IRM has been changed to AIMS/ERCS Staff.

(2) The term "ERCS Functional Coordinator" has been changed to "AIMS/ERCS staff" or to refer to "AIMS/ERCS managers, AIMS/ERCS analysts or AIMS/ERCS assistants" as appropriate throughout this document.

(3) Minor editorial changes have been made throughout this IRM. Also, website addresses and IRM references were reviewed and updated as necessary.

(4) This IRM has been revised throughout to provide clarifications and more in-depth discussions. Except for the changes and deletions in the original text reflected in the table below, this has been a total re-write:

Reference Description
IRM 4.7.10.1 (2) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.1 (3) and reworded.
IRM 4.7.10.1 (3) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.1 (4) and reworded.
IRM 4.7.10.1 (4) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.1 (6) and IRM 4.7.10.1 (7) and reworded.
IRM 4.7.10.1.1 (1) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.3.2.1 (1) and expanded.
IRM 4.7.10.1.1 (2) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.3.5 (5) and expanded.
IRM 4.7.10.2 (1) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.3.1.2 (3) and expanded.
IRM 4.7.10.2 (2) Deleted. Paper Forms 3210 are no longer used.
IRM 4.7.10.2 (3) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.3.1 (4) and expanded.
IRM 4.7.10.2 (4) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.3.1 (4) and IRM 4.7.10.3.1 (6) and expanded.
IRM 4.7.10.2 (5) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.3.1.1 (2) and expanded.
IRM 4.7.10.3 Moved to IRM 4.7.10.2 (4) and reworded.
IRM 4.7.10.4 Moved to IRM 4.7.10.3 and updated and expanded
IRM 4.7.10.4 (l) Deleted. EITC Reports are no longer required.
IRM 4.7.10.4 (o) Deleted. The AIMS/ERCS staff is no longer involved with MITS during installation of programs.
IRM 4.7.10.4 (p) Deleted. Archiving is not run by the AIMS/ERCS staff.
IRM 4.7.10.4 (q) Deleted. Unlocking approval records is not a regular duty of the AIMS/ERCS analyst.
IRM 4.7.10.5 Deleted. ACE Reports are obsolete.
IRM 4.7.10.5 (3) Moved to IRM 4.7.10.2 (5) and reworded.

(5) This IRM will be issued electronically only for all future releases.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 4.7.10 dated October 1, 2003 is superseded.

Audience

Large Business and International (LB&I) and Small Business and Self Employed (SB/SE) employees who use ERCS.

Effective Date

(06-25-2012)

Karen Schiller
Director, Examination Planning and Delivery
Small Business/Self-Employed

4.7.10.1  (06-25-2012)
Overview

  1. This section contains information and procedures for the Audit Information Management System (AIMS) / Examination Returns Control System (ERCS) staff in the operation and support of ERCS.

  2. The AIMS/ERCS staff consists of AIMS/ERCS:

    • Managers.

    • Analysts.

    • Assistants.

  3. The AIMS/ERCS staff is an integral part of the ERCS support team. Their assistance is essential to ensure the smooth operation of the ERCS system.

  4. The AIMS/ERCS staff is the liaison between the ERCS users and the SB/SE, LB&I and Modernization Information Technology System (MITS) employees responsible for the daily operation and support of the ERCS system. These employees include the following:

    • Headquarters (HQ) AIMS, ERCS, Statistical Sampling Inventory Validation Listing (SSIVL), and Summary Exam Time Transmittal System (SETTS) analysts.

    • ERCS system and database administrators.

    • ERCS development staff.

  5. The AIMS/ERCS staff should be familiar with AIMS and ERCS and have knowledge of controlling returns in SB/SE, Specialty, and LB&I groups, Planning and Special Programs (PSP), Centralized Case Processing (CCP), and Technical Service (TS).

  6. The instructions for the AIMS/ERCS staff for navigating and support of the ERCS programs can be found in the ERCS Technical Reference Manual (TRM).

  7. In addition to this IRM, the AIMS/ERCS staff should also be familiar with the:

    • ERCS User Handbooks.

    • IRM 4.4, AIMS Processing.

    • IRM 4.9, Examination Technical Time Reporting System.

  8. Selected analysts on the AIMS/ERCS staff responsible for updating the ERCS local files must be proficient in the use of the visual (vi) text editor.

4.7.10.2  (06-25-2012)
Security

  1. A user is granted access to ERCS via the Online 5081, Automated Information System (AIS) User Registration / Change Request. Refer to IRM 4.7.2, Security, for details. Refer to the Introduction chapter of the ERCS TRM to determine the appropriate Online 5081 application for ERCS access.

  2. The AIMS/ERCS staff may be granted permissions to run the AIMS/ERCS Analyst Menu, the AIMS to ERCS Uploading programs and/or the SETTS programs. Local AIMS/ERCS managers should determine who should have access to these programs in the area. Access is granted through the "ERCS-TCC-AREA MNGRS, ANALYSTS, ASSTS (ERCS)" sub-application on the Online 5081 system. Analyst permission gives the user access to all options on the AIMS/ERCS Analyst Menu. Assistant permission gives the user access to selected options on the menu. An AIMS/ERCS assistant may be granted analyst permission if approved by the manager and the Territory Manager (TM). Approval by the TM is accomplished by sending an e-mail to the HQ ERCS analyst. If an assistant is given analyst permission, the manager should ensure the assistant is working within guidelines when performing tasks above his/her grade level.

  3. The AIMS/ERCS analyst is generally given read and write permissions as an administrator (Admin) user for the area (e.g., PBC). Admin is a type of ERCS user reserved for the AIMS/ERCS staff. Admin users may run programs as any type of user (e.g., PSP, group, etc.). Admin permission enables the analyst to research and resolve program, data, or input issues for ERCS users.

  4. The front line manager has the ability to grant approval authority to another manager or to an ERCS user serving as an acting manager. In an emergency the AIMS/ERCS analyst may grant temporary approval authority to another manager. The request should be made by the TM via e-mail, memorandum, (documentation to be determined locally) or Online 5081.

  5. For security issues concerning Record of Tax Enforcement Results (ROTER) information, see the Section 1204 Website. IRM 1.5, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System Handbook, provides further guidelines for the appropriate use of statistics by managers and employees.

  6. For other security issues concerning ERCS, including access to employee returns, and Unauthorized Access of Taxpayer Accounts (UNAX) violations, refer to IRM 4.7.2, Security.

4.7.10.3  (06-25-2012)
Role and Responsibilities of the AIMS/ERCS Staff

  1. In most instances, the responsibilities of the AIMS/ERCS staff listed in this section may be performed by a manager, an analyst, or an assistant. The AIMS/ERCS managers in each area should determine who should perform these tasks. Some tasks can only be performed by a manager or an analyst due to restrictions based on a user's permissions and access to ERCS programs. Responsibilities of the AIMS/ERCS staff include, but are not limited to:

    1. Adding new ERCS users and user permissions (requires analyst permission).

    2. Performing scheduled ERCS tasks.

    3. Supporting ERCS users.

    4. Conducting operational reviews and visits.

    5. Maintaining and monitoring the accuracy of the database (problem resolution).

    6. Performing miscellaneous activities.

4.7.10.3.1  (06-25-2012)
Adding New ERCS Users and User Permissions

  1. The steps to add a new ERCS user consists of:

    • Processing the Online 5081 for ERCS access.

    • Adding users permissions.

4.7.10.3.1.1  (06-25-2012)
Processing the Online 5081 for ERCS

  1. At least two members of the AIMS/ERCS staff (AIMS/ERCS managers or AIMS/ERCS analysts) must be on the approval path for the ERCS Online 5081 for the area (or CCP campus). The AIMS/ERCS managers in each area should decide how many employees are needed on the approval path. Instructions for adding or removing an employee from the approval path of an application can be found on the Online 5081 Home Page. For the purposes of this section the AIMS/ERCS staff responsible for approving ERCS access on the Online 5081 system will herein be referred to as the "ERCS approvers" .

  2. When an employee submits an Online 5081 for ERCS access, the Online 5081 is routed to the employee's manager for signature, then to the ERCS approvers for initial approval to ensure the user chose the correct Online 5081 application. The Online 5081 is then forwarded to the ERCS system administrator to add the user's account. Finally, it goes back to the ERCS approvers to add the user's employee record and permissions.

    Note:

    The user's employee record can be added by the secretary in the group.

  3. ERCS operates on the principle that users should only change data on returns under the user's control. The AIMS/ERCS analyst should ensure the employee's permissions are set based on the user's assigned duties.

  4. The Online 5081 for new users must contain sufficient information to add the employee's permissions on ERCS as this document serves as the official record of the user's approved level of access. If the user does not include all of the information required, the ERCS approver should contact the employee or the employee's manager to obtain any missing information. When the Online 5081 is approved, the ERCS approver should update the Online 5081 with the missing information. An Online 5081 for adding a user to ERCS should include the following:

    1. AAC or AACs - The Primary Business Code (PBC), Secondary Business Code (SBC), and Employee Group Code (EGC) combination the user needs permission for in order to run reports, update records, apply time, etc. These three codes make up the AIMS Assignee Code (AAC).

      Note:

      A user should only be given permission for the area (PBC) matching the Online 5081 application. For example: If a secretary in Area 201 requests an Online 5081 for "ERCS-TCC-SBSE-AREA 201-NORTH ATLANTIC (ERCS)" permission should only be given in Area 201. If the user also needs to assist an LB&I group supported by Area 201, the user should also request an Online 5081 for "ERCS-TCC-LB&I-Area 201-NORTH ATLANTIC (ERCS)" .

    2. Permission types - The permission types consist of read, write, approval and second level approval. All users are given read permission. In general, clerical employees are given write permission, managers are given approval permission and TMs are given second level approval permission. Managers may be given write permission, but they should be warned that certain actions performed by a manager on ERCS require the approval of a TM. The ERCS approver should consult the TM and obtain his/her concurrence before giving a manager write permission.

    3. User type - If the user type is omitted, it should be set on ERCS based on the SBC on the Online 5081.

      SBC User Type
      897## Centralized Case Processing (CCP)
      887## Review (Technical Services or Joint Committee Review) or Sample Review
      877## Planning and Special Programs (PSP)
      Other SBC not listed above with EGC Group
      Other SBC not listed above without EGC Territory
      Directory of Field Operations (DFO) SBC DFO
      SBC of 00000 Area/Industry

    4. Length of Access - If the user will only need temporary access, the end date should be noted on the Online 5081.

  5. An Online 5081 should be disapproved if the user chose an incorrect ERCS application or the user is not justified in having ERCS access. An Online 5081 may be disapproved if there is not enough information on the Online 5081 to add the user to ERCS (e.g. the user's employee record or the user's permissions), and the information cannot be timely (as determined by local area AIMS/ERCS managers) obtained from the employee or the employee's manager. If the ERCS approver doubts whether a user's access is justified, the HQ ERCS analyst should be consulted.

  6. For permanent permission changes within the same area the user is required to submit a "Modify Application Profile" request via the Online 5081. The user should identify the permission changes in the special instructions box. In the event of an emergency situation, the AIMS/ERCS analyst may grant temporary permissions to a user. The request should be made by a manager via e-mail, memorandum, (documentation to be determined locally) or Online 5081.

  7. When an employee is suspended or separates from the Service, an Online 5081 for deletion is system generated. If an ERCS user moves to another position in the Service and will no longer be an ERCS user or an ERCS employee, he/she should input an Online 5081 for deletion. The ERCS approver should verify the user's employee record has been inactivated. Inactivating the ERCS employee record will update any of the employee's permission records to end on the employee's inactivation date. The user's login name should not be removed from the ERCS employee record. It is a link to the audit trails generated by the employee's actions on ERCS.

  8. If a user loses ERCS access due to inactivity, the user should input a deletion request on the Online 5081 system. When the deletion request is processed, the ERCS approver should verify if the user still needs ERCS access. If so, the ERCS approver should approve the Online 5081 and take no further action on ERCS. (The user's ERCS employee record should remain active.) Once the deletion request is processed, the user should be instructed to input an add request on the Online 5081 system.

  9. A user who no longer needs ERCS access but is still an ERCS employee (e.g. an examiner who is detailed to a management position and the assignment is completed) should input an Online 5081 for deletion. When the ERCS approver processes the Online 5081, the user's permissions should be deleted, but the user's ERCS employee record should remain active.

  10. Users should complete an Online 5081 for each area where access to ERCS data is required. There is an exception for HQ analysts who are required to complete a separate Online 5081 for nationwide access. Refer to IRM 4.7.2, Security, for details.

4.7.10.3.1.2  (06-25-2012)
Adding User Permissions

  1. User permissions are added and deleted by AIMS/ERCS personnel through the Add User program from the Permission Programs Menu. The user must have both analyst (also referred to as coordinator) and admin permission to run the Add User program.

  2. Permissions to the ERCS menus and permissions for read, write, and approval are granted to users via the Add User program.

  3. User permissions should be restricted to only those permissions that allow the user to perform his/her job. For example, an examiner serving as an acting manager should only have approval permission for the AAC of the group and only as long as the length of the acting assignment. A secretary should be given read and write permissions, but not approval permission.

  4. Reports are available from the Permission Programs Menu that may be used to check user permissions. The reports should be run before and after a reorganization to ensure user permissions are added for the new AAC and deleted for the old AAC.

  5. Refer to the Utility Permission Programs chapter of the ERCS TRM for guidelines for setting up user permissions based on the type of user and for more information about running the Permission Programs Menu.

4.7.10.3.2  (06-25-2012)
Performing Scheduled ERCS Tasks

  1. The following tasks must be completed on a regular basis by a member of the AIMS/ERCS staff:

    • Maintain ERCS local files (requires analyst permission)

    • Process uploads to AIMS

    • Process ESTAB and special search requests

    • Process and monitor database transfer requests

    • Process the SETTS data

    • Process the SSIVL data

    • Create, maintain, and run Discoverer reports

    • Review the weekly ERCS Hotline Summaries

4.7.10.3.2.1  (06-25-2012)
Maintain ERCS Local Files

  1. The ERCS local files contain information unique to each area. AIMS/ERCS managers and analysts have the ability to control validation of codes such as project codes and action codes used only in their area.

  2. Local files can also be used to alert users of messages like upcoming changes, the end of the reporting cycle, or contact information. These messages appear on the screen prior to the ERCS Main Menu screen.

  3. Once an input has been made to a local file, the change is immediately available for use by the ERCS programs. For this reason, the local files should be updated as soon as changes are known. It is imperative the contents of the files be entered correctly.

    Note:

    Typos, extra lines at the end of a file, or spaces at the end of the line have been known to cause unexpected results in the ERCS programs.

  4. The local files are updated via a menu option on the AIMS/ERCS Analyst Menu. In order to make changes to a local file, the user must be proficient in the use of the visual (vi) text editor. New analysts should be trained by another AIMS/ERCS analyst in the area. Refer to the vi help document in the Training Resources folder on the AIMS/ERCS/SETTS SharePoint for basic tips for running the vi text editor. Refer to the Local and National Files chapter of the ERCS TRM for information about the local files. Refer to the Login Menu chapter of the ERCS TRM for information about the menu option to update the local files.

4.7.10.3.2.2  (06-25-2012)
Process Uploads to AIMS

  1. Selected changes made by users on ERCS are sent to AIMS each time the Requisitions and Updates program is run to completion. In order to run this program, the user must have access to the Requisitions and Updates program and to the Generalized Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) Interface (GII) server. Both of these accesses are granted through the Online 5081 system.

  2. To gain access to the Requisitions and Updates program, the user must submit an Online 5081 for the sub-application "ERCS-TCC-AREA MNGRS, ANALYSTS, ASSTS (ERCS)" . The special instructions box should contain the following, "Please grant me access for the Requisitions and Updates program."

  3. To gain access to the GII server, the user must submit an Online 5081 for the sub-application "GII ERCS" , and include the following in the special instructions box, "Please add me to the Active Directory CS Domain global group named BAG-GII ERCS Users." BAG stands for Business Application Group. Once the Online 5081 is processed, the user must map the GII server drive and follow the instructions on the GII server to complete the setup. The user must be granted access to IDRS before requesting access to the GII server. See the Requisitions and Updates chapter of the ERCS TRM for details.

  4. All employees running the Requisitions and Updates program must have all of the following command codes in their profile, as well as in the employee’s work unit to which they are assigned. If they do not, rejects will occur during the GII interface.

    • AM424

    • AMNON

    • AMSTU

    • AMAXU

    • AMSOC

    • AMBLK

    Note:

    In addition to the command codes needed for the Requisitions and Updates program, the AIMS/ERCS staff must also have numerous command codes in their profiles for problem resolution.

  5. There are several steps involved in running the Requisitions and Updates program. In general the steps include running the following options:

    • Create Reports - This option extracts the latest requisitions, updates, short closures and transfers into a file in the format required by IDRS.

    • Reset - This option marks all the changes extracted in the last run of Create Reports so they will not be extracted again.

    • Send AIMS Upload to IDRS - This option zips the file and transfers it to the GII server.

    • Once the file is on the GII server, the user must login to the GII server and execute the program to upload the data. Once completed, the results from the session are zipped.

    • Retrieve Results from IDRS - This option brings the zipped file from the GII server back to the ERCS server, unzips the file, and creates results files for each AAC (requisition) or user (short closures and transfers).

  6. It is highly recommended that the Uploading Program be completed at least twice daily to maintain the accuracy of the AIMS database. During times when more ERCS changes are created, such as reorganizations or mass updates, it is advisable to run it more often to keep uploading processing time at a minimum.

  7. The local file, "upload_control" , is read by the Create Reports program and can be used to block specific command codes from being sent to the GII server. Refer to the Local and National File chapter of the ERCS TRM for more information about this file.

  8. Refer to the Requisitions and Updates chapter of the ERCS TRM for more information about uploading.

4.7.10.3.2.3  (06-25-2012)
Process ESTAB and Special Search Requests

  1. ESTAB procedures are initiated when the group alerts the AIMS/ERCS support personnel that assistance is needed to resolve one of the following issues:

    • An original return has been requested, but not received within 6 to 8 weeks (the number of weeks to be determined by the local area).

    • The examiner failed to request the original return when completing Form 5345-D, Examination Request-ERCS (Examination Returns Control System) Users.

    • An original return was received without a Schedule K-1.

  2. The AIMS/ERCS support personnel should verify that the group's request for an ESTAB follows local procedures and is accompanied by either Form 4251, Return Charge-Out or Form 5546, Examination Return Charge-Out Sheet or the group indicates there is a Schedule K-1 issue.

    Note:

    It is the group’s responsibility to monitor their own ESTAB requests and to document each step.

  3. When the ESTAB request is received, the AIMS/ERCS support personnel should verify the type of return filed (e.g., paper or electronic) by reviewing the Document Locator Number (DLN) that is located on the ESTAB request. If the DLN indicates the return was an Electronically Filed (ELF) return or a Modernized E-File (MeF) return, the ESTAB request should be returned to the group. If a Schedule K-1 is the only item requested and it is available on Employee User Portal (EUP) and the group has access to EUP, return the ESTAB request to the group. Refer to Chapter 4, Document Locator Number of Document 6209, IRS Processing Codes and Information, for the definition of the DLN.

    Note:

    If the group does not have access to EUP, refer them to the Employee User Portal (EUP) Access Guide for information about obtaining access to EUP.

  4. Once it has been determined that an ESTAB is warranted, the Command Code ESTAB should be input into IDRS. If the issue concerns a Schedule K-1, include a "Y" in Record Element 20 on the ESTAB request. This will result in a statement "Pull Sch K-1 for this document" being printed on the Form 4251. Refer to IRM Exhibit 2.3.17-1, Input Format, CC ESTAB—Document Request.

  5. If after several attempts to obtain the return via ESTAB have failed and a sufficient amount of time to receive the return has passed (2 to 4 weeks after the last attempt) the group may request that special search procedures be initiated, using Form 2275, Records Request, Charge, and Recharge.

  6. When requesting Form 706, U.S. Estate Tax Return or Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation - Skipping Transfer) Tax Return using Form 2275, include in Section 18, Remarks, "ALL HISTORICAL FILES."

  7. The ESTAB process may be skipped and Form 2275 may be used to expedite the search for the original return if the case meets one of the following criteria:

    • Court cases

    • Appellate cases

    • Prompt audits

    • Short statute.

  8. The Form 2275 may be submitted by the group or by the AIMS/ERCS staff depending on local procedures.

4.7.10.3.2.4  (06-25-2012)
Process and Monitor Database Transfer Requests

  1. The Database Transfer request is initiated by the group when local AIMS and ERCS control is needed for a return controlled in another area or campus.

  2. The group will contact the AIMS/ERCS staff by facsimile (FAX) or e-mail as prescribed by local procedures. If the request is for a return located in the Campus, regardless of the PBC, the AIMS/ERCS personnel sends the request to the AIMS coordinator at the Campus. If the request is for a return in another area, the request is sent to the AIMS/ERCS staff in that area.

  3. If the transfer involves a PBC change, the Correct or Display Records program can be used to monitor the ERCS record until it is transferred to the requesting area. When the record has been transferred, it will show up on ERCS in PSP. Then, the AIMS/ERCS staff should transfer the ERCS record to the group.

  4. If the request is for AIMS control of a return located in the Campus and in the same PBC as the area, the AAC Difference Report can be used to monitor the record. Once the Campus transfers the database and AIMS to ERCS batch processing has run, the return will drop off of the report.

4.7.10.3.2.5  (06-25-2012)
Process the SETTS Data

  1. Technical employees in SB/SE and LB&I are required to input technical time, which is captured and validated by ERCS. At the end of each reporting cycle the time is extracted from ERCS, validated, and transmitted to the Martinsburg (MTB) Computing Center (MCC). At MCC, the data goes through a second validation, and then it is used in the creation of reports and tables. The term "SETTS" is often used to refer to the entire process from ensuring the time has been input through the receipt of validation results from MCC.

  2. The Examination technical time sent to MCC is used for planning and monitoring activities by technical employees in SB/SE and LB&I. Fiscal year plans are developed using the time data along with other historical data and selected input from LB&I Industry and SB/SE Area Directors. If the time charges on ERCS are corrected after the data has been transmitted to MCC, the corrections are not sent forward. Corrections on ERCS after transmission of the SETTS data has no impact on the reports and tables that have already been extracted. Everyone including the examiner applying time, the secretary inputting the time in ERCS, the manager approving the time, and the AIMS/ERCS personnel extracting the time for roll-up plays a vital role in ensuring the SETTS data is accurate and timely.

  3. At the end of each reporting cycle on the designated day of SETTS transmission, a member of the AIMS/ERCS staff is responsible for:

    1. Ensuring all the time for the cycle has been input into ERCS for all employees supported by the AIMS/ERCS staff.

    2. Ensuring Finish for the Month has been run.

    3. Creating the SETTS file and validating the data.

    4. Transmitting the data to MCC.

    5. Checking the results of the SETTS validation.

    6. Completing the steps to correct and retransmit data, if there are validation errors.

  4. Since SETTS cycles can be at four, five, or six week intervals, users may not always be aware when the end of the reporting cycle is near. One way to remind users is by inserting a message in the "Message of the Day" local file, named "motd" . The last day of each reporting cycle and the corresponding transmission dates are listed in Document 6036, Examination Division Reporting Codes Booklet.

  5. Managers and secretaries should be encouraged to run the ERCS Check Employees with Uncharged Time report periodically within each cycle to ensure all the time for their employees has been entered into ERCS by the close of business on the last day of the cycle.

  6. The Check Employees with Uncharged Time report must be run by the AIMS/ERCS employee responsible for running SETTS prior to the creation of the SETTS file. Employees listed on this report with uncharged time for the cycle will be excluded from the SETTS roll-up. If an employee is listed on the report with an In Lieu of Holiday (ILOH) error, it means the employee was not scheduled to work on the holiday and the employee does not have time charged on the alternate date the program expected the holiday time to be charged. For example: If a holiday falls on a Tuesday, but it is the employee's scheduled day off, the program expects the employee to charge holiday time for Monday. If the employee does not charge holiday time on the Monday, an ILOH error will appear on the report. These errors should be researched to see if holiday time was charged on another day. Errors should be corrected. If this is the only error for the employee on the report, the employee's time will still be included in the SETTS roll-up.

  7. It only takes one day of unreported time or one validation error, either on ERCS or at MCC, to exclude all of the employee's time charges for the cycle. If there is an issue or an error that cannot be resolved by the final MCC validation, it is possible to append the employee's time to the following cycle's SETTS file. There is one exception: Time from a prior fiscal year cannot be appended. Refer to the SETTS chapter of the ERCS TRM for information about appending an employee's time charges from a prior cycle to the SETTS file.

  8. The Finish for the Month program should be run prior to the running the Create the SETTS_FILE option. This option saves the validated data from the previous cycle to a file named "valid.YYYYMM" where YYYYMM is the cycle date. The option also removes the "forms.txt" file.

  9. During the process of creating, validating and transmitting the time data, several files are created. It is important to note that corrections are written to intermediate files and only the file created by the validation routine is transmitted to MCC. The following files are created during the process:

    • The SETTS_FILE is created when the Create the SETTS_FILE option is run and the user selects the option Initial Run. If the Initial Run option is not chosen, new data is appended to any data already in the file.

    • The forms.txt file is created when the option Merge SETTS_FILE with forms.txt is run. If the forms.txt file already exists when the option Merge SETTS_FILE is run, the data from the SETTS_FILE is appended to any data already in this file. The "forms.txt" file is deleted when the option Finish for the Month is run. Data can be updated in this file when either of the options Display Error File or Edit Forms is run.

    • The error.txt file is created when the Validate Forms option is run. Validation errors are written to this file. This is the file displayed when the option Display Error File is run. However, when errors are corrected this file is not updated. The user must re-run Validate Forms to update this file.

    • The valid.txt file is created when the Validate Forms option is run. The time data for employees with no errors are written to this file. This is the file transmitted to MCC when the option Transmit Valid SETTS File is run.

  10. When the option is run to transmit the SETTS file, a copy of the validated SETTS file, "valid.txt" , is renamed and placed in a dedicated location on the ERCS server where files are picked up every 15 minutes (e.g. 02:00, 02:15, 02:30, 02:45, etc.). The files are transmitted to MCC where a second validation is run.

  11. The validation times at MCC and the times when the validations results are sent back to the ERCS server are in the table below listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST):

    Validation Times (EST) Results Returned Times (EST)
    12:00 PM 12:30 PM
    2:30 PM 3:00 PM
    5:30 PM 6:00 PM
    7:00 PM 7:30 PM
    10:00 PM 10:30 PM

  12. The results file should be checked by running the option Display/Print Most Recent Validation Results to verify there are no errors. If errors are present, they should be corrected using the Edit Forms option. Once the errors are corrected, the options Validate Forms and Transmit Valid SETTS File must be re-run.

  13. See the SETTS folder on the AIMS/ERCS/SETTS SharePoint for SETTS training materials for the AIMS/ERCS staff. Refer to the SETTS and National Office SETTS Menu chapters of the ERCS TRM for more information about running the SETTS programs.

  14. An unusual error or an increase in errors during the validation process should be reported to the HQ SETTS and the HQ ERCS analysts. Refer to the AIMS, ERCS SETTS, and Discoverer Contact Listing for Headquarters for contact information.

4.7.10.3.2.6  (06-25-2012)
Process the SSIVL Data

  1. The SSIVL program enables a field office or a campus operation to extract AIMS data from the ERCS server and load the data into a Microsoft Access database for further analysis. The data may be used to generate reports of potential errors and to generate Inventory Validation Listings (IVLs) of AIMS data. Use of SSIVL is required to validate AIMS inventory. Refer to IRM 4.4.16, Inventory Control, for more information concerning the responsibilities of the AIMS/ERCS staff in conducting the 100% IVL.

  2. The SSIVL data can be automatically transferred to an area server via Electronic File Transfer Utility (EFTU) or an AIMS/ERCS staff employee with SSIVL and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) permissions can run an ERCS menu option to extract data from the ERCS server and transfer it to a local area server.

    Note:

    The preferred method to transfer the SSIVL data to a local server is EFTU. Special permission from the HQ SSIVL analyst are needed if more than two persons per area or campus need SFTP permission for SSIVL.

  3. Access to the ERCS server for SSIVL purposes is granted via Online 5081. There are several SSIVL sub-applications. Refer to the document, "Requesting/Granting SSIVL Access" , on the SSIVL Website for determining which sub-application to select and how to complete the Online 5081. Users desiring SSIVL access should contact their local AIMS/ERCS staff or their Campus AIMS coordinator to get approval prior to completing an Online 5081.

  4. Once approval is granted, the user should follow the instructions on the SSIVL Website on how to download and install the SSIVL Microsoft Database (ssivl.mdb) file.

  5. New SSIVL users should contact the owner of the Outlook e-mail group "&MITS ACIOAD-C-SSIVL COORD" to be added to this group. This mailbox is used to alert users of system downtime, SSIVL issues, and new releases.

    Note:

    To find the owner of a mailbox, go to the Address Book in Outlook, find the group. In this case, "&MITS ACIOAD-C-SSIVL COORD" , and right click on the group. Then select "Properties" from the drop down box. The owner is listed on the "Properties" screen.

  6. AIMS/ERCS personnel pull IVLs from the SSIVL Microsoft Access database each month and distribute them to each Exam (i.e., SB/SE, LB&I, and Specialty), and PSP group in the area.

  7. AIMS/ERCS personnel are responsible for extracting the SSIVL data for Technical Services (TS). Since the data for TS is pulled by status and not by group, distribution of the data is based on local procedures.

  8. Each year, the groups are required to do a 100% validation of the IVL. If the group has an error rate of 5% or more, the AIMS/ERCS staff should refer to local procedures to follow-up with the group until the error rate is within 5%.

  9. Refer to the SSIVL and SSIVL-PC chapters of the ERCS TRM for more information about the program and the available data.

4.7.10.3.2.7  (06-25-2012)
Create, Maintain and Run Discoverer Reports

  1. Oracle Discoverer is an ad-hoc, report writer included in the Oracle Database Suite, the database package used by ERCS. Oracle Discoverer allows users to create queries and reports from the data contained in the ERCS database.

  2. Discoverer licences are limited and also restricted to members of the AIMS/ERCS staff and HQ analysts in SB/SE and LB&I. To get a current list of the SB/SE users who hold a Discoverer license in your area or office, contact the HQ Discoverer analyst in Exam Planning and Delivery. To get a current list of the LB&I users who hold a Discoverer license, contact the HQ LB&I analyst in LB&I Planning & Special Programs. Refer to the AIMS, ERCS SETTS, and Discoverer Contact Listing for Headquarters for contact information.

  3. Discoverer access is granted via the Online 5081 sub-applications "ORACLE DISCOVERER PLUS-ERCS SB/SE (ORACLE DISCOVERER PLUS - ERCS)" for SB/SE users and "ORACLE DISCOVERER PLUS-ERCS LB&I (ORACLE DISCOVERER PLUS - ERCS)" for LB&I users. AIMS/ERCS analysts who have need for Discoverer should contact their manager to see if a license is available in their area before inputting an Online 5081.

  4. Some of the uses for Discoverer are listed below:

    • Generating reports to monitor new initiatives or special projects or programs

    • Generating reports that are not available through ERCS programs

    • Generating reports comparing AIMS and ERCS data

    • Generating area-wide reports or reports across multiple areas or industries

    • Generating reports of potential errors such as the Related Returns Report

      Note:

      The Related Returns Report (also called the RRR) was created by one area and shared with all other areas. It lists returns in groups of related returns if one or more returns in the group has a potential error.

  5. Discoverer reports can be shared with other Discoverer users and modified by the second user for use in another area.

  6. Users should make sure their reports are shared with another user in their area or office. It is important to share in the event the originator of a report is out of the office for an extended period of time to ensure there is a backup person to run the report.

  7. Experienced users in the area or office are expected to work with new users to familiarize them with the system. New users should refer to the SBSE Examination ERCS Discoverer (Student Guide) for information about creating and running Discoverer Reports. The Oracle Discoverer chapter of the ERCS TRM also contains some excellent reference material including initial setup, changing passwords, etc.

  8. The ERCS database contains ERCS and AIMS data. The AIMS data is removed every Saturday morning at 1:01 AM EST and re-populated over the weekend with fresh data during the AIMS to ERCS batch processing. The Database chapter of the ERCS TRM contains the database fields by table and information about the database views available to Discoverer users.

  9. Discoverer users are encouraged to utilize the Discoverer SharePoint to share issues, resolutions, ideas, etc. The ERCS Hotline staff does support users having issues accessing the server or the Discoverer program; however, they do not support issues with creating or modifying reports. The best resources for report issues are other Discoverer users.

  10. When Discoverer Online 5081s are processed, new Discoverer users are added to the Outlook group, "&SBSE ERCS Oracle Discoverer" . This mailbox is used to alert users of system downtime, Discoverer issues, and new releases.

  11. Users who forget their password or lock their password after three unsuccessful attempts to access the system should submit a password reset request via the Online 5081 system for the Discoverer sub-application. Discoverer passwords, unlike ERCS passwords, can only be reset or unlocked by a database administrator by using the password reset request defined above.

4.7.10.3.2.8  (06-25-2012)
Review the Weekly ERCS Hotline Summaries

  1. The ERCS development staff maintains a trouble desk, called the ERCS Hotline, to assist AIMS/ERCS staff and other ERCS support personnel with issues or questions related to ERCS. The hotline is open from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM EST. The hours are extended from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM after a major ERCS release, the last day of the SETTS cycle, and on the day of SETTS transmission. The hotline is staffed on a weekly rotating basis by programmers on the ERCS development staff. Each week the ERCS development staff publishes an ERCS Hotline Summary.

  2. The ERCS Hotline Summary contains information about calls received the previous week along with the status of calls still being worked by the hotline. When an issue is identified as a program bug, the status is updated to "Postponed" and it drops from the summary the following week. When an issue is resolved, the status is updated to "Closed" and it drops from the summary the following week. All open issues being worked by the hotline are labeled "Submitted" on the summary.

  3. The ERCS Hotline Summaries are posted on the AIMS/ERCS/SETTS SharePoint each week. Only the AIMS/ERCS staff and the ERCS developers are given access to this site. Summaries are available on the SharePoint from January 2011 to the present.

  4. The AIMS/ERCS staff should review the summaries for issues or issue resolutions that may impact their area. The AIMS/ERCS staff may need to alert ERCS users of issues contained in hotline summaries.

4.7.10.3.3  (06-25-2012)
Supporting ERCS Users

  1. Users expect their AIMS/ERCS staff to fix everything, from ERCS access issues and printer problems to providing procedures for controlling and closing inventory. Some of the ways that the AIMS/ERCS staff supports the ERCS users are:

    • Creating and or providing end-user guidelines and job aides.

    • Offering suggestions and solutions in operational and procedural areas.

    • Initiating and providing formal and informal training (workshops, seminars and presentations at group meetings).

    • Alerting users of AIMS and ERCS program changes or of issues concerning the ERCS server.

    • Serving as a resource person for users experiencing systemic and procedural problems.

    • Elevating ERCS program issues to the ERCS Hotline.

4.7.10.3.4  (06-25-2012)
Conducting Operational Reviews and Visits

  1. Operational reviews and visits are conducted by AIMS/ERCS analysts and should be scheduled annually. The visits allow the analysts to interact with the employees in the groups and functions they support. During the review the analyst can address specific concerns and training needs, identify weaknesses and best practices that may be shared with others, and provide guidance on effectively monitoring inventory.

  2. Prior to conducting an operational review the AIMS/ERCS staff should be familiar with the following:

    • IRM 4.4.16, AIMS Procedures and Processing Instructions, Inventory Control.

    • IRM 4.7.5, Examination Returns Control System (ERCS) - Group.

    • Codes and Procedures on the My SB/SE AIMS/ERCS Website.

    • Document 6209 , IRS Processing Codes and Information.

    • Document 6036 , Examination Division Reporting Codes Booklet.

  3. The analyst will provide written documentation of the review/visit within a reasonable time frame to ensure that the group and the TM have viable information on the group’s processes and procedures. The suggested time frame for the written review is two weeks, but it should be no later than 30 days.

  4. The focus of the reviews/visits should include, but is not limited to the following:

    • Basic group operations

    • ERCS database accuracy

    • Training needs

4.7.10.3.4.1  (06-25-2012)
Basic Group Operations

  1. Knowing the basic group operations enables the analyst to understand the dynamics of the group, to know who is responsible for each group assignment, to respond better to training needs and assistance, and to schedule the appropriate amount of time for the visit.

  2. The basic group operations include the special characteristics and the division of responsibilities in the group.

  3. The special characteristics can include items such as the type of cases (e.g., trust, fraud, general programs, CIP, etc.), and the make-up of the group (e.g., trainees, seasoned examiners, new manager, etc.), and if there are any special issues affecting the group.

  4. The division of responsibilities in the group can include items such as who runs and validates ERCS inventory reports, technical time input, the generation of Form 895, Notice of Statute Expiration, etc.

  5. Refer to IRM 4.7.5, Group, for additional information concerning the group's requirements for using ERCS.

4.7.10.3.4.2  (06-25-2012)
ERCS Database Accuracy

  1. The AIMS/ERCS analyst should ensure the accuracy of the AIMS and ERCS database by reviewing procedures and practices in the group for:

    • Maintaining employee records

    • Requisitioning and updating returns

    • Monitoring and closing inventory

    • Inputting time

    ERCS and/or Discoverer reports should be used to verify the accuracy of the data.

  2. The following information on the ERCS employee records should be checked for accuracy and timeliness of changes:

    • Employee name

    • AAC

    • Post of duty

    • Position code

    • Grade

    • Work schedule profile

    Note:

    If users are not able to make corrections to the employee record, the AIMS/ERCS analyst should contact the HQ ERCS analyst for assistance.

  3. The AIMS/ERCS analyst may observe how new cases are requisitioned or processed into the group to verify the procedures used and that, at a minimum, the following items are checked for accuracy:

    • AAC - to ensure the return was sent to the correct group.

    • Statute - to ensure that statute controls are in place.

    • Related Return - to ensure the related return controls are established, if necessary.

    • Source code, project code, tracking code, aging reason code, and status code - to ensure the correct codes are on the return.

    • Claim amount – to ensure a claim amount is present if a claim for refund has been filed or another Protection of Revenue Base issue exists.

  4. ERCS reports and/or case files should be used to ensure the group is monitoring and controlling the group's inventory. If the AIMS/ERCS analyst has concerns about any issues found during the review, the issues may need to be discussed with the group manager. Some issues may need to be elevated by the group manager to PSP. Items that should be checked during an operational review/visit include, but are not limited to:

    • Unassigned and unstarted inventory - excessive or over-aged unassigned or unstarted inventory may be an indication of an underlying problem. If the AIMS/ERCS analyst has concerns about this issue it should be discussed with the group manager.

    • Group suspense - returns in Status 13 over 45 days.

    • Technical time - a sample comparison between the examiner's technical time input sheet and the Agent Analysis report.

    • Closing case analysis - the AIMS/ERCS analyst may observe how cases are closed from the group or discuss with the group secretary how different types of cases are closed (e.g., agreed, unagreed, paperless closures, etc.). If the analyst is observing the closure, ensure that the secretary verifies the claim amount and the time on the Form 5344, Examination Closing Record, matches the time on ERCS.

      Note:

      If there is a discrepancy between the time on ERCS and the time on the Form 5344 it could be that the final time applied to the case has not yet been input into ERCS. If the ERCS time is less than the time on the form and the difference is within reason, the ERCS closure can proceed.

    • Form 3210, Document Transmittal, file - the AIMS/ERCS analyst should review the Form 3210 file to ensure the forms have been acknowledged or the follow-up has been completed. This file should be worked in conjunction with the In-Transit Report. The AIMS/ERCS analyst should ensure any form still pending acknowledgment after 21 days has documentation showing the group has followed-up.

  5. Statute control is a major part of the operational review. By ensuring statute controls are properly in place, the AIMS/ERCS staff plays an important role in ensuring the government's interests are protected. A combination of both AIMS and ERCS reports as well as the selected case files should be used during this part of the review. Items that should be reviewed include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Review and comparison of the ERCS 895 Report, the ERCS Pending Statute Report, and the AIMS 4.0 or the AIMS 4.1 Tables.

    • Analyze statutes (includes statute dates and alpha statutes that are not open ended) within 210 days or expired.

    • Ensure procedures are being followed for the issuance and acknowledgment of the Form 895, including the control of the 895 file. Refer to IRM 25.6, Statute of Limitations, for statute control procedures.

    • Ensure alpha statutes are being used appropriately.

    • It is recommended that several selected cases be reviewed to ensure the statutes are correct and all statute controls are in place. Cases should be selected for spot review that include "EE" alpha statutes, short statutes, statute extensions or Form 872-A, Special Consent to Extend the Time to Assess Tax, and irregular statutes.

4.7.10.3.4.3  (06-25-2012)
Training Needs

  1. During the operational review and/or assistance visit, the AIMS/ERCS staff has the opportunity to assess or address training needs for the manager, secretary and/or technicians. If several groups are having similar issues, it may be an indication that the issue needs to be addressed at an area level. If so, the issue should be elevated to the AIMS/ERCS manager.

  2. The AIMS/ERCS staff should ensure the group is aware of the available reference materials including the IRMs, the MySB/SE AIMS/ERCS Website, any area controlled SharePoint sites, Document 6209, IRS Processing Codes and Information, Document 6036, Examination Division Reporting Codes Booklet, etc.

4.7.10.3.5  (06-25-2012)
Maintaining and Monitoring the Accuracy of the Database (Problem Resolution)

  1. ERCS contains a vast amount of data for returns under examination in SB/SE and LB&I. Data is transferred to and from ERCS through a number of interface programs including AIMS. Data is also manually input directly into ERCS by ERCS users. ERCS data is pulled to generate reports from the group level to the national level. Therefore, every ERCS user is responsible for ensuring data he/she inputs into ERCS is input accurately and timely.

  2. The AIMS/ERCS staff plays a vital role in ensuring the integrity of the ERCS database is maintained. In addition to the items checked during an Operational Review or visit, there are other data issues that need to be monitored as well as periodic data clean-up initiatives where assistance is needed from the AIMS/ERCS staff. There are a number of ERCS reports and programs available to the AIMS/ERCS staff to assist in resolving database issues. These reports and programs include, but are not limited to the following:

    • AIMS Error Reports.

    • Uploading Reject Reports.

    • Audit Trails.

    • Utility Edit Record and Utility View Record programs.

    • Database Error Report.

    • Maintain Address Table program.

    • Overage Approval Report.

  3. The AIMS Error Reports are a collection of reports generated when AIMS and ERCS data is compared during AIMS to ERCS batch processing. Reports are only created if there is an issue to report. Although some of these reports are available at the end-user level, the AIMS/ERCS analyst can generate them for a particular group, territory, industry, or for the entire area. These reports should be monitored weekly. For information about reports available to end-users and how to work the AIMS Error Reports, refer to IRM 4.7.6, Reports, or to the ERCS Technical Reference Manual. The following reports are not available to end-users and must be worked by the AIMS/ERCS staff.

    Report Name Description Working the Report
    Status 90 Hours Report Return lists and summary information for returns closed to Appeals or to the Campus within the last 30 days where the hours on AIMS do not match the hours on ERCS. Local procedures should be used in working this report.

    Note:

    AIMS should not be systematically updated to match the time on ERCS without research to determine why there is a difference.

    Overage Transfer Report Returns transferred to another area and the transfer is still pending after a local area determined number of days. Check ERCS for uploading rejects, correct any issues, and run the Resubmit AMSOC option from the Transfer, Close, Establish Control Menu.
    NMF (Non-master File) to MF (Master File) Conversion Report Returns that were successfully converted from NMF to MF. Information only. AIMS can have MF and NMF controls for the same taxpayer. ERCS only allows one control and the MF record takes precedence.
    Miscellaneous Report - Disapproved Requisition A disapproved requisition was deleted and an AIMS record was added. Information only.
    Miscellaneous Report - Estate on AIMS An estate return is on AIMS but it cannot be added to ERCS. The return should be requested on ERCS.
    Miscellaneous Report - MF on AIMS, NMF on ERCS ERCS has a NMF record and AIMS has a MF record but ERCS cannot be converted. Check the error message (usually an AAC difference or pending managerial approval record). Resolve the issue.
    Miscellaneous Report - Record Type Mismatch ERCS has a collateral or a full AIMS record type and AIMS has a skeletal record. Update the ERCS record type to "Pending" via the Utility program. Notify the group or function controlling the ERCS record.
    Miscellaneous Report - Second Exam on AIMS ERCS still has the first exam and AIMS has a new exam record. The MATCH_AIMS flag should be turned off via the Utility program and the second exam should be requested on ERCS.
    Miscellaneous Report - TIN Type Mismatch The format of the TIN on AIMS doesn't match the format on ERCS. Call the ERCS Hotline for assistance.

  4. Uploading Reject Reports should be worked by the group or function initiating the requests, updates, transfers or closures. Once the reports are worked, they should be deleted by the group or function. Uploading Reject Reports that remain on the system for more than a few days may be an indication the reports are not being worked or deleted timely or that the users are having problems working the reject. The AIMS/ERCS staff should monitor the reports to ensure the groups or functions are working them timely.

    Note:

    The AMSOC transfers and closures are not displayed for the AIMS/ERCS staff in the option Check AIMS Results unless the user performed the transfer or closure on ERCS. To monitor the AMSOC rejects the AIMS/ERCS analyst must run the Long Directory Listing option from the System Functions sub-menu of the AIMS/ERCS Analyst Menu. When prompted to enter a directory name, the user should enter "aims_results" .

  5. The ERCS audit trails are an invaluable tool that can be used in conjunction with ERCS reports to resolve issues with particular returns. The audit trails are historical records of when returns were added or updated on ERCS, the type of update or change, and the user or program that initiated the action. Refer to the Utility Miscellaneous Programs chapter of the ERCS TRM for information about running the Read Audit Trail program and for details about the ERCS audit trails.

  6. The Utility Correction programs enable the AIMS/ERCS staff to correct data on returns that may not be correctable using the end-user menus. It is an option that should be used with extreme caution because the programs do not perform the ERCS consistency checks when data is changed. Refer to the Utility Correction Programs chapter of the ERCS TRM for information about this program.

  7. The Utility Miscellaneous programs enable the AIMS/ERCS staff to research data on returns that may not be displayed on end-user screens or reports. In addition to the information about the return, the program also displays information about the history record, time charges, recent updates, closing information, pending managerial approval records, and AAC differences between AIMS and ERCS. Refer to the Utility Miscellaneous Programs chapter of the ERCS TRM for information about this program.

  8. The Database Error Report lists returns with invalid codes. It is recommended that this report be run and worked monthly, preferably prior to the SETTS roll-up. If the user suspects that a code may be incorrectly listed as invalid, the HQ SETTS or HQ ERCS analyst should be contacted. Refer to the Login Menu chapter of the ERCS TRM for information about running and working this report. The following are issues checked by the Database Error Report:

    • Invalid Status Codes (nationally controlled).

    • Invalid AAC Codes (locally controlled).

    • Obsolete AAC Codes (locally controlled).

    • Invalid PSP Action Codes (locally controlled).

    • Invalid Group Action Codes (1 - 12 nationally controlled, 13 - 20 locally controlled).

    • Invalid Activity Codes (nationally controlled).

    • NAICS/PIA Set in Error (nationally controlled).

    • Inconsistent NAICS/PIA Codes (nationally controlled).

    • Invalid Project Codes (0175 - 0200, 0500 - 0575, 0700 - 0799 locally controlled, others are nationally controlled).

    • Obsolete Project Codes ( nationally controlled).

    • Invalid Source Codes (nationally controlled).

    • Invalid Tracking Codes (0001 - 5999 are locally controlled, 6000 - 9999 are nationally controlled.)

    • No New Add Tracking Codes (0001 - 5999 are locally controlled, 6000 - 9999 are nationally controlled.) - these are tracking codes flagged as "No New Add" so they cannot be used for new inventory.

    • Obsolete Tracking Codes (0001 - 5999 are locally controlled, 6000 - 9999 are nationally controlled.)

    • Invalid Freeze Codes (Refer to FreezeCodeContacts.doc to determine which are national codes and which are local codes.)

    • Invalid PICF Indicators (nationally controlled).

    Note:

    Although NAICS errors are listed on the report for skeletal records, these codes should not be updated on ERCS until "FULL AIMS" is displayed on the Full Display screen of the Correct or Display Records Menu.

  9. The Address Table contains addresses used in the generation of Forms 3210 and in the generation of the Sample Selection sheets. The Maintain Address Table option is accessed from the AIMS/ERCS Analysts Menu. It enables the AIMS/ERCS staff to add, update, and delete addresses, and to save temporary addresses created by end-users to permanent status. When a Form 3210 is generated through ERCS, the corresponding addresses for the sending and receiving groups are displayed on the user's screen for selection. Eliminating duplicate addresses and incorrect or obsolete addresses will facilitate getting the correct address on the documents. Refer to the Login Menu chapter of the ERCS TRM for information about running this option.

  10. The Overage Approval Report, accessed from the Utility Miscellaneous Programs Menu, can be run for an area, industry, or for all of LB&I. This report should be run periodically to check for returns pending managerial approval that may have been overlooked or may not be listed on any manager's approval screen. In particular, the AIMS/ERCS staff should watch for returns pending second level approval for a TM without ERCS access and for returns pending managerial approval for AACs that are obsolete or campus codes. When the report is run, the user enters the days overage. It is recommended the report be run weekly for work pending approval for five or more days.

  11. The AIMS/ERCS staff works with the HQ ERCS analyst to oversee and assist in data clean-up efforts in their area that are initiated at the national level.

  12. AIMS/ERCS managers and analysts may be requested by upper management in the local area to conduct management studies and provide feedback.

  13. In addition to the command codes needed for the Requisitions and Updates program, the AIMS/ERCS staff must also have numerous command codes in their profiles for problem resolution.

4.7.10.3.6  (06-25-2012)
Performing Miscellaneous Activities

  1. The AIMS/ERCS staff may be called upon to perform various tasks, including attending meetings, some of which may include the following:

    • Attending staff meetings.

    • Mentoring.

    • Providing assistance, as necessary.

    • Assisting in reorganizations.

4.7.10.3.6.1  (06-25-2012)
Attending Staff Meetings

  1. Staff meetings are a means to plan, advise, coordinate work efforts, clarify guidelines, and share information on systemic or procedural changes. These meetings also provide excellent opportunities to build relationships and foster respect within the group. By regularly attending staff meetings, the AIMS/ERCS staff can exchange ideas and share knowledge or insights with peers which can promote timely resolution of issues.

  2. Each AIMS/ERCS manager should ensure his/her staff is represented in conference calls or meetings. These events include but may not be limited to the following:

    • Area staff meetings.

    • Monthly AIMS/ERCS staff conference calls.

    • Ad hoc meetings initiated by HQ staff (AIMS/ERCS/SETTS program changes, hot topic issues, etc.)

4.7.10.3.6.2  (06-25-2012)
Mentoring

  1. Analysts will serve as mentors to the AIMS/ERCS assistants.

  2. The analyst will counsel the assistant on matters such as AIMS/ERCS relationship to one another, reviews/visits, reports, transcripts, transcript comprehension, etc.

4.7.10.3.6.3  (06-25-2012)
Providing Assistance as Necessary

  1. Assistants will provide support and assistance to the AIMS/ERCS analysts.

  2. The assistants may extract, reformat, and distribute various reports for their area of support, their analysts or their manager.

  3. The assistants may help with reviews or visitations by extracting and gathering data for the analyst. An assistant may also accompany the analyst on reviews or visits.

  4. The assistants may occasionally be asked to help an examination group with daily tasks if the clerical staff is not available.

  5. The assistants may aide with training needs in the group, such as helping with new secretary orientation.

4.7.10.3.6.4  (06-25-2012)
Assisting in Reorganizations

  1. Special programs are available to the AIMS/ERCS analysts to move employee records, employee permission records and inventory records enmasse between employees, groups, territories, areas, industries and Business Operating Divisions (BOD)s. There are also programs to reassign returns from one TS employee to another TS employee. The steps for moving a group to another AAC are listed below:

    • Coordinate with the AIMS/ERCS staff in all impacted areas

    • Coordinate with the group and impacted functions

    • Validate the new AAC

    • Run inventory reports, employee reports, and permission reports

    • Check for returns with updates pending managerial approval

    • Check for errors in AIMS to ERCS batch processing or recent uploading rejects

    • Resolve issues that would prevent returns from transferring

    • Lock out the users (optional)

    • Transfer the returns, employees and permissions to the new group

    • Run inventory reports, employee reports, and permission reports

    • Make the old AAC obsolete

    • Unlock the users

    • Alert the group the transfer is complete

    • Run the ERCS to AIMS uploading programs

  2. The Group Transfer - All Returns option allows the user to transfer returns from one group to another within the same area or industry. The user is prompted with the following questions:

    • "Include returns closed from group?" This question is referring to returns in PSP suspense, TS and CCP. If the old AAC will no longer be in use after the reorganization, the user should answer "yes" . If PSP, TS, or CCP sends a case back to the group, this will prevent returns being sent back to an obsolete AAC.

    • "Include Status 90 returns?" This also includes returns in Status 80 - 89. Since the closing AAC will not change on AIMS, users should answer "no" to this question.

    • "Generate AIMS updates for returns in the group?" The user should always answer "yes" to this question. AIMS should always be updated for the AAC changes on ERCS.

    • "Generate AIMS updates for returns closed from the group if status less than 80?" The user should answer "yes" to this question. AIMS should always be updated for the AAC changes.

    • "Delete Expiration Notices for open returns?" The user should answer "no" to this question.

    • "Transfer TAPP records for AAC?" - The Time Applied (TAPP) records are the time charges associated with the returns in the old AAC. If the user answers "yes" to this question, only the time charges for employees in the old AAC to returns in the old AAC will be updated to the new AAC.

  3. The Group Transfer - One Employee option is run to transfer one employee's inventory to another group within the same area or industry. The user is prompted with the following questions:

    • "Delete Expiration Notices for open returns?" The user should answer "no" to this question.

    • "Include returns closed from the group if status is less than 80?" The user should check with the employee's manager before answering this question.

    • "Transfer Time Applied records (TAPP) for employee?" If the user answers "yes" to this question, only the time charges for this employee to the returns being transferred will be updated to the new AAC.

  4. The Transfer Returns to Another PBC option is run to transfer returns to another area or industry. The PBC Transfer Listing should be generated prior to transferring the returns. The listing includes issues that may cause the transfer to be blocked on ERCS or may cause the AMSOC to reject on IDRS. Many of these issues can be worked prior to the transfer. The user is given the following options when transferring returns to another PBC:

    • Whether to include returns in PSP suspense, TS, or CCP

    • Whether to transfer all the eligible returns or to select returns to be transferred one at a time

  5. For information about locking users out of the system, see the Login Menu chapter of the ERCS TRM. For more information about running the transfer programs, see the Utility Correcting Programs chapter of the ERCS TRM.

    Note:

    The Utility Correcting Programs chapter is in the process of being revised. The Re-organization options will be moved to a new ERCS TRM chapter named Utility Re-organization Programs.


More Internal Revenue Manual